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CommonMark Ready Reference

Tutorial and hacks to create documents using the new MarkDown standard

MarkDown is an easy human-readable text format that can serve as a strong base for exporting to other document formats such as HTML, ODF, DOC/DOCX, PDF and ebook (EPUB, MOBI…). It is a great tool for authors, technical writers and content developers to create books, manuals, web pages and other rich-text content.

CommonMark is a new well-formed standard for the old MarkDown spec. CommonMark was one of the reasons I was able to write and design 21 books in one year. Incidentally, this is the first-ever book on CommonMark. You will be buying a piece of history! This book's covers are designed like a quick reference card - a free PDF download is also available for anyone.

Ebook (print replica)Amazon$0 (FREE)
The paperback version of this book is available on Amazon India from a third-party seller at an exorbitant price. It is not really worth it. Do not buy it.

About CommonMark

CommonMark Ready Reference endorsed by CodingHorror

Despite its phenomenal success online and widespread adoption even beyond the Internet, one problem that continued to bug Markdown was the lack of a proper standard. Today, CommonMark ( is replacing Markdown as the de facto standard for low-markup text. CommonMark hit the ground with a well-defined standard from Day 1 and is set to replace and overtake MarkDown. and other sites have already adopted it. CommonMark is MarkDown done right. It is highly compatible with the original MarkDown and resolves most of its ambiguities. The book CommonMark Ready Reference provides a tutorial, hacks collection and a ready reference for the new standard.

The Book

CommonMark Ready Reference is for those who need a desk-side reference and for those who would like to learn MarkDown/CommonMark at leisure. If you are on a computer, there will be plenty of free online alternatives available including the official documentation.

This book is based on 0.30 version of CommonMark. It may be superseded by newer versions. Whatever the case, the official documentation that is directly applicable to the version of Markdown/CommonMark that you use in production will always have more relevance.

Table of contents

The Executables

Anyone can build CommonMark from its source code available at I built my CommonMark executables (for Linux and Windows) using version 0.29 and 0.30. You can use them at your own risk.

for Linux and Windows 1.6 MB

Free Printable CommonMark/MarkDown Quick-Reference Card

The covers of the paperback are designed as a quick-reference card. Inside the book, there is another b/w quick reference card. I have provided it as a free download in full-colour. You can print as many copies as you want.

for Linux and Windows 0.12 MB MB

Covers of the paperback

Video Demo

This video shows how the back cover looks. (The reference card on the paperback is also NOT lopsided. The screenshot is an early draft. I am not going to fix it in the video.)